Crimson Studios 2007It’s a new year, 2013, and as you look in the rear-view mirror on last year, what does it reflect?  What kind of leader were you?  Were you one who appreciated your team?  Did you challenge each of them?  Inspire each of them?  Did you do your best to meet the needs of the organization while still being a patient teacher?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

IF you didn’t, it’s ok.  It’s not too late to set the right tone for the new year.  It will take a bit of an attitude adjustment and a conscious choice to think about the “work” you put in front of the team each day.  The good news is that you can turn this around and get the team on track to have even better performance than last year.  It can also help you with your retention efforts.

As with anyone you have not openly appreciated enough, the best way to clear the air and have a fresh start is with an apology.  Now, I know what you’re thinking…..”Trish, I’m a pretty good boss.  I try to be nice to people.  I just can’t give personalized attention to everyone on my team because I’m BUSY.”  I’m sure you are busy, but I call BS.  People don’t need you to hold their hands every day, they just need to know that you care and that the work that they produce for you, for your department, is valued.  So, I’ll give you a head start on an apology to your staff.  Feel free to use it; email it, post it in the department, or say it in your next meeting.

Dear Team, 

I want to thank you for your effort in 2012.  It was a good/bad year for the company, but a good one for us as a direct result of the ____________ you were able to achieve.  Your results from the _____________ project exceeded all expectations and I’m proud to be a part of this team.  

I also want to apologize to each of you.  As your team leader, there were times where you may have seen me distracted or appearing unappreciative of your work and effort.  I sincerely apologize.  My goal is to make this year one where I actively spend more time giving you feedback and using your ideas to make our department better.  I will also commit to ensure each of you further develops your skills because of the way we’ll approach learning.  I will teach and each of you will teach.  

2013 will be a year where our team faces some challenges too.  I am proud to be part of such a fine group of people and I know we’ll pull together and make this year our best yet!  Thank you for all you do.

Sincerely,

_______________

Now, go out there and start showing some appreciation-

I guarantee you’ll find that the positive results you see, hear and feel will come back to you ten-fold!